Overview

We’ve provided a recent non-technical overview of our results here . Webpages providing links and providing htm versions of this overview and links are at either of www.climate2003.com or Ross McKitrick You can contact me at smcintyre25 AT yahoo.ca. If you want to talk to me, I’ll email a cell #. This blog started on Feb. 8, 2005 and had over 14,000 hits in its first week. Recent technical articles are our GRL article (a pre-publication version available here) and the E&E paper here. There has been extensive recent press coverage… Richard Muller of UC-Berkely wrote an article about us in October which attracted a lot of interest.

azine Natuurwetenschap & Techniek in their February 2005 issue provided a lengthy story about the history of our work, an English version available here in pdf, which was re-printed by the National Post last week. There were mentions of us last week in The Economist, Science and Nature, the latter two being subscription articles, but I’ve quoted relevant portions here and here. On Feb. 13, 2005, Ross made an excellent presentation on Global TV. On Feb. 14, 2005, the Wall Street Journal ran a prominent story on its front page, complete with picture. On Feb. 15, 2005, a slightly edited version of Some Thoughts on Disclosure and Due Diligence was re-printed by National Post and I appeared on Squeeze Play on ROB TV..

iticizes us at his blog www.realclimate.org and many of the comments here, especially Errors Matter #1, Errors Matter #2 and Errors Matter #3 are responses to this. There are several chatlines which have actively discussed the controversy: sci.environment has several threads on us but is mostly flame wars; www.davidappell.com has had recent discussions which were relatively civilized and UKweatherworld has a thread on us.

This blog has only been up a week, but there are postings in the archives (including some very recent posts under the February 2005 archives and some transferred from my website).

17 Comments

  1. Posted Feb 14, 2005 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    I thoroughly enjoyed the article in today’s WSJ about you and your quest for truth. I look forward to following your blog. Thank you so much for helping to keep these Global Warmest’ honest.

    After reading Michael Crechton’s ‘State of Fear’, I became interested in this subject. I am now starting the book Meltdown by Patrich J. Michaels, which takes on the scientific community as well as the media and their one track minds.

    I call myself a math hobbyist (with a couple of published books on mathematics). I would be very interested in the mathematics that you use and that which is used by Mann.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Andrew Laucius
    Posted Feb 14, 2005 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    It appears that the 2003 article “Corrections to the Mann et. al. (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemispheric Average Temperature Series” is no longer available (at least on the Energy & Environment web page).

    The link on the Energy & Environment page points to the new (2005) article, “THE M&M CRITIQUE OF THE MBH98 NORTHERN HEMISPHERE CLIMATE INDEX: UPDATE AND IMPLICATIONS”; which has the same URL as the original article.

  3. Karl
    Posted Feb 15, 2005 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    I’ve always wondered how they sweep this data under the rug – any trend is much lower than the noise.

    http://www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/MSU/msusci.html

  4. Frank H. Scammell
    Posted Feb 15, 2005 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

    It seems to me that it is about time to tackle the “instumental record”. This is not a stone tablet given to Moses, much as Jim Hensen would like people to believe. Everything, including your work, merges into the “instumental record”. This is where the big increase seems to occur, but it doesn’t correspond to either the GHCC MSU or the stratosphere record. Don’t at least some of the proxies go beyond the “instumental record”? Suppose you simply drop the requirement to merge? or go with the GHCC MSU?
    Let’s remember that the GISS is not the actual T records, but “adjusted” for heat islands, etc.

  5. John A.
    Posted Feb 15, 2005 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

    Frank,

    That’s exactly the issue brought up by Dr Vincent Gray that we’ve already cited. The surface appears to be warming according to thermometers, but the atmosphere directly above, as measured by satellites measures very little warming. This result is in complete contradiction to greenhouse theory, which predicts strong warming, especially at high latitudes.

    Something is very wrong with the science that underpins the Kyoto Protocol and the pronouncements of the IPCC. Something is very wrong with how science is conducted as it relates to climate, the environment and public policy.

    That is what I think, is the point of Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick’s work as expressed on this weblog and elsewhere.

  6. Jack Di Nardo
    Posted Feb 16, 2005 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    Re: Your Natinal Post article. I found your comment that ” … scientists strongly resent any attempt ot verify their results.” most intriguing.

    I thought that the ability to reproduce results was the very essence of the “Scientific Method” under which scientists are trained and operate. Why wouldn’t they make the basis of their research, the data available for reveiw?

    It boggles the mind at how sloppy and undisciplined the entire environmental movement is. It seems to be entirely ideologically driven and damn the facts.

  7. N. Joseph Potts
    Posted Feb 16, 2005 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    WHICH is the new Web log opened up by the Mann side of this fracas? There are so MANY blogs out there, even just on this topic, and I can’t by any means positively judge their provenance by just looking at them. It’s like reading tree rings!

    Steve’s answer: their weblog is http://www.realclimate.org. Postings on us were on Dec. 4, Jan 6 and Jan. 27.

  8. Patrick Boyle
    Posted Feb 16, 2005 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    snip

  9. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 17, 2005 at 2:57 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations, Patrick, you got just about all the stereotypes in you could, and not a few really insulting ones, in one post. I bet you really fume at people like me! We should meet sometime, I haven’t got horns, I don’t worship anything, I rekon I’m not any more irrational than you, and I’m actually friendly :). I do have a different view though – what a pain democracy and free speech is eh :). Oh, and perhaps it will be best if I don’t reply in kind eh? Counter productive to slip to your level.

  10. N. Joseph Potts
    Posted Feb 20, 2005 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    Could I ask what "red noise" is? I suspect it has been explained on this site, but I haven’t found it here, nor in Answers.com. I’ve known what white noise is and what pink noise is for a long time, but red, I’ve never heard of.

    Steve: Red noise has persistence; I suspect that what you understand by pink noise is similar, but with less persistence. The simplest red noise is autoregression and if you think of it being generated by a blend of the lag-1 value and white noise, you get the idea. The bigger the blend of white noise, the whiter the noise.

  11. N. Joseph Potts
    Posted Feb 20, 2005 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

    Peter, Patrick didn’t say anything about YOU. Unless, of course, the shoe fits and you’ve put it on yourself.

  12. Carolynn
    Posted Mar 7, 2005 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    I was in Japan at the time of the Kyoto Protocol. There was a forest preserve torn down for the sake of the meeting (there was a huge controversy about this in Japan that never made it to the western press. Sadly, the concept of "Irony" doesn’t really exist as we know it in the Japanese language).

    I’ve been skeptical of "Global Warming" and the Kyoto Protocol in particular since my time in Japan. It seemed like the organizers were more interested in a lavish event than the enviroment.

    Keep up the good work — and please post on Tim Barnett’s recent paper. I’m distrustful of it because he is on record as saying, "Anyone with doubts about man’s role in global warming is an idiot."

    Still, if it is the real deal, then that is great — but it won’t say that we should adhere to the Kyoto protocol!

    Steve: That’s a really ironic story and hard to understand how the forest was interfering.

    Anorth story like that: a dendrochronologist was studying a bristlecone pine and for some reason decided that he would get a better sample by a cross-section than a core. So he cut down the tree, which, when dated, was the oldest tree in the world. I’ve got a copy of the academic article reporting on the tree.

    It is curious what doesn’t get covered. I was in Venezuela on business in (I think) 1993 when Chavez led an insurrection against the then government. The hotel that I was staying in looked down over an air force base that was involved in the insurrection so the hotel was attacked. There was a pretty fierce machine gun battle in the parking lot. The guests were all evacuated to the basement of the hotel. It was a strange day. The next day I got pinned by sniper fire in an alley for a while. There was virtually no coverage of the rebellion in the outside world.

  13. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 16, 2005 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Steve

    I am at a loss as to what you hope to achieve in this continuing spat with Mann et al. If it is to prove that the paper of Mann 98 was a dubious bit of research, I would agree, he has even admitted there are problems with it himself? However, that research is seven years old. Proving it or disproving it to be correct will not determine whether global warming is proved or not. Neither side will now back down because reputations (and in some cases careers) rest on it. Why not agree to disagree and move on. If your aim is to point out the weaknesses in climate research in general, then surely time an effort of all sceptics would be better spent scrutinising more recent work, than a single 7 year old paper. Incidentally, as I see it, your reconstruction of Manns data showing the 15th century to be warmer than now is even more damming than Manns original construct, as it indicates a gradual decline in global temperatures until 1850, before human influence reversed that trend.

  14. Posted Mar 22, 2005 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Arguing over whether the 90s were hot or not is missing the point. CO2 concentration is the primary component of atmospheric energy forcing. Why are people working so hard to split hairs?

  15. Spence_UK
    Posted Apr 2, 2005 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    James,

    Unfortunately the science is not as simple or as clear cut as just looking at the Vostok ice core record. It is necessary to relate the CO2 concentration to the effect on climate. Remember that direct greenhouse effect from CO2 is quite small; the predictions rely on positive feedback from other effects (particularly water vapour feedbacks, a far more significant greenhouse gas) to cause substantial warming.

    For example, if you accept that the CO2 concentration was low a thousand years ago, why does it seem likely that temperatures back then seem to be warmer than today – there is a huge amount of evidence to support this in the Northern Hemisphere, and a growing band of evidence to support the theory that the Southern Hemisphere was similarly warm during this time.

    If CO2 is the dominant forcing, low CO2 coupled with high temperatures does not stack up well, which suggests there are other forcings which are more likely to dominate global temperature. The Mann “hockey stick” was the main attempt of the IPCC and others to demonstrate that the medieval warm period did not exist; but we now know (thanks to Steve) that the Mann curve is simply an artefact of bad statistical analysis.

    Furthermore, there are other CO2 records – such as the leaf stomata records – which suggest that 300+ppmv CO2 is the norm in the holocene. This study does suggest a closer link between CO2 and temperature, but if you accept this study you have to also accept that the CO2 concentrations we are seeing today are not so far outside the bounds of natural variability.

  16. Spence_UK
    Posted Apr 2, 2005 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    I am at a loss as to what you hope to achieve in this continuing spat with Mann et al. If it is to prove that the paper of Mann 98 was a dubious bit of research, I would agree, he has even admitted there are problems with it himself?

    Paul, Mann et al still do not acknowledge a fraction of the flaws in their temperature curve that Steve has highlighted, although they were forced into publishing a correction to their study in nature, it does not go so far as to address many of the problems Steve has unearthed. They still staunchly defend it, whilst adding many of the caveats that other papers are now more relevant etc. etc.

    However, that research is seven years old.

    That research is still used extensively, in the media, in “scientific” reports, summaries, lectures, and by political pressure groups. The research is old, but the use of the graph is “current”. It is not so much Mann who needs to know that the curve is flawed, but those that use it so extensively, and the wider public audience.

    Proving it or disproving it to be correct will not determine whether global warming is proved or not.

    Runaway anthropogenic global warming will probably never be proven or disproved by a single study. It will always be a jigsaw. The direct warming effect of CO2 is relatively small, and only becomes dominant through positive feedbacks in computer models. Any one scientist is really forced to look at one aspect of a much bigger problem. The historic temperature record is a massively important part of this jigsaw though, because it can tell us if todays warming is within natural variability or quite unprecedented, and it is also used to “tune” computer models (not that this has any great meaning – another story!). This is where the Mann curve comes in; the key is the complete lack of variability from 1000 to 1900, compared to others (e.g. Moberg) which shows highly variable temperatures.

    If your aim is to point out the weaknesses in climate research in general, then surely time an effort of all sceptics would be better spent scrutinising more recent work

    Steve is trying to do this, it can be seen in other posts, but he has run into a brick wall in obtaining sufficient information about studies to replicate them. Mann was originally quite forthcoming, although his quality control was questionable, until he realised that Steve was attempting to replicate his work, when he also refused to answer questions. Steve’s efforts have been a true uphill struggle in that most of the work he is either having to derive from scratch or reverse engineer results, which is never easy.

    Incidentally, as I see it, your reconstruction of Manns data showing the 15th century to be warmer than now is even more damming than Manns original construct, as it indicates a gradual decline in global temperatures until 1850, before human influence reversed that trend.

    Don’t forget, climate is a chaotic system – much like the weather – which swings up and down depending on many factors. It would be wrong to extrapolate a single trend for a long period of time. Perceived wisdom on historical temperature (pre-Mann) was that it was warm during the Roman empire (~2k years ago); cold during the dark ages (~1500 years ago); warm during the medieval warm period (~900 years ago); cold during the “little ice age” (~300 years ago) and then warm again today. Most sceptics claim that todays temperatures lie within these variations – as indicated by Steve’s reconstruction. Most AGW supporters claim that todays temperatures lie outside these bounds. However it is important to note that Steve’s reconstruction (like Manns) does not carry sufficient statistical skill to be used as a reliable temperature record.

  17. Posted Jun 13, 2010 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    As a climate-interested person I was wondering what you guys think of the Danish Climate Conference COP15? Did it get us any further in solwing some of our problems? (Greenhouse effect, etc.) (http://www.denmark.dk/en/menu/Climate-Energy/COP15-Copenhagen-2009/cop15.htm)

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